There are no guarantees in fishing, especially in tournament fishing. One day you’re feeling it, and the next, your hopes are crushed. But, despite a mechanical failure that left the Scandalous team boatless for the first leg of the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown series held at Los Sueños Resort and Marina, the team remained positive.
Enter HT Hook. Without hesitation, Capt. Ronnie Riebe stepped in to help. Without a crew to fish the tournament, the 62-foot Viking became the Scandalous for the next four days. Good vibes prevailed, and the team took the Day One daily with four blue marlin and three sailfish, a milestone that carried the team through the entire tournament to end on the big stage with an overall tournament win, and an unbelievable three-day hookup ratio that netted them 5,200 points for verified releases of seven sailfish, eight blue marlin and one stripey when it was all said and done.
Smooth Move kicked off the tournament scoring on Day One with a marlin release at 8:11 a.m., followed by another six marlin released by the fleet by 10:34 a.m. Numero Uno, which had the short-lived lead at noon, would be bumped by Dealer’s Choice, and by the time the 2:00 p.m. update was posted, it was a whole new ballgame.
Scandalous hadn’t seen a fish all morning but was now in the lead with 1,500 points by midday, ending up with the daily at lines out and 2,300 points. War Party and Reel Joy—who had released the only quintuple sailfish of the tournament—were tied for second, forcing the time-stamped score decision, placing them in second for the day.
Smooth Move started the scoring again on Day Two with a triple sailfish release, but the marlin were shaking up the leaderboard—nine of them being released by 10:00 a.m. Smooth Move was sitting in second, just 200 points behind Scandalous—a battle of the teams that would continue into Day Three. The bite kicked in, and a reported 30 sails and five marlin were released by the fleet between 10:02 a.m. and at 11:49 a.m. At the end of the day, Reel Joy stood in third, just 100 points behind Smooth Move.
The typical early-morning bite was missed by Smooth Move on Day Three, when Reel Development reported a sailfish release at 8:05 a.m. Three minutes later, Scandalous released a marlin, putting them 1,100 points ahead of Smooth Move, a deficit from which the team couldn’t recover.
Game Changer proceeded to release five sails and one marlin by 10:00 a.m., taking their fifth-place standing up to second, threatening Scandalous’ first-place spot by just 600 points and taking second place from Smooth Move, which was now in third.
The eventual third-place finisher, Outage, flew under the radar for most of the tournament until eight sails and one marlin jolted them from seventh place. Two sails later, Outage finished the tournament with a total of 3,600 points. Second-place Game Changer finished with 4,000 points, and Scandalous cruised past the finish line with a solid 5,200 points.
A total of 593 billfish—523 sailfish and 70 marlin—were released by 180 anglers in a fleet of 38 boats.